Saturday, October 5, 2013

Video Games: The Perfect Metaphor for a Government Shutdown


Can you smell the liberty in the air?  Isn't it wonderful!  The 18 trillion dollar, liberty destroying behemoth that is the American federal government is shut down (really, slowed down), and liberty is prospering!  Woohoo!

One of the things I have found fascinating about this most recent shut/slowdown is how the internet has basically been having a ball with it.  As that anti-Big Government "Grumpy Cat" meme (above) demonstrates, contrary to all the inside the beltway doom & gloomers, most Americans are finding this political deadlock to be less of an opportunity for fear and more of an opportunity for humor.  Good for them!  Just like the dreaded "sequestration cuts" proved to be much ado about nothing, so has this "shutdown" proved to be a lot of fear-mongering nonsense.  American's are learning that the chattering classes inside DC live in a very different world from most Americans.  While we fear not being able to put food on the table due to our five year recession, they fear not being able to spend trillions of dollars on shrimp treadmills.  This, I believe, will be the most permanent fallout from the shutdown: Americans will remember how statist politicians deliberately scared and harassed their own constituents so that they could continue their big government ways.  In other words, they will now realize that federal government has become a menace to their own liberty and well-being. And once they realize that...can you say Rand Paul or Ted Cruz in 2016?

Another thing I have found to be fascinating about this shutdown is how video game artwork and memes have become interjected into the debate.


Take, for example, this screenshot from Michele Malkin's Twitchy:


Here we have not one, but TWO video game-related bits of artwork.  On the right we have a screenshot from the iconic arcade classic, Asteroids.  Most people probably spotted that right away, but what about the one on the left?  If it is the Capitol building in ruins, then it must be the sci-fi, post-apocalyptic glory of Fallout 3!  Wow, didn't expect to see that game show up so quickly!

BTW:  The "How do I water" article is hilarious!  Read it here.

Soon after spotting those two examples, I came across this Facebook posting from the great patriot, Col. Allen West:


And another video game screenshot!  However, this time I am unsure as to which game this came from.  At first I thought it was Rome 2: Total War, but somebody suggested it might be from one of the Age of Empires titles.  Hmm....   I am still not sure from whence it came, so if you know, please let me know!  Regardless, great comparison to Thermopylae, Colonel!

Lastly, I came across this meme being used by American Spectator:


Of course, this is an alteration of the classic video game meme unintentionally created by the badly translated, if hilarious, Japanese import Zero Wing, a 16-bit shoot’em up from 1989.  Apparently, it works for the government shutdowns, too!

I really found it interesting how our gaming subculture suddenly came to the forefront of this political issue.  I don't know if this is because politicians are trying to reach out to a younger demographic on this particular issue, or if gaming has finally penetrated the political classes, but whatever the reason I am glad to see it has finally happened!  As I have written about extensively on this blog, I believe gamers are, by nature, competitive conservatives and libertarians, so it is long overdue that freedom-loving politicians try to get their attention by dipping into our video game heritage.

Anybody see any other government shutdown video game memes out there?

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